7 Lowcountry Restaurants to Visit with the Kids this Summer

For most, family vacations are that rare opportunity to have fun together while making a few lifelong memories – unless you’re Chevy Chase of course.

Not as much fun? Trying to decide where to eat. Lucky for you, we’ve already taken the guesswork out of choosing a spot that the whole family can get on board with. Fear the dreaded “So, what do you want for dinner tonight?” question no more.


St. Simons


Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria

If you have kids, and you’re on vacation, you’re going to eat pizza. That’s just the way it is.

You may as well make it good pizza, like the authentic Italian pies you’ll find here. Sal was one of the founders of the New York Times-celebrated Cafe Portofino in NYC, and when he made the wise decision to head South he made it his goal to bring that same true Italian neighborhood pizza shop flair to the Golden Isles. One bite and you’ll say, “Amo la Pizza!” That’s assuming you can speak Italian. If not, Sal can teach you.

912.268.2328 salsneighborhoodpizzeria.com


St. Simons Sweets

At one point or another, every parent on a family vacation has uttered the magic phrase, “If you guys can just behave while we do one thing, there will be candy later.” I’ve said it, you’ve said it, and you’ll say it again on this trip. When you’re ready to make good, head to this candy-coated nirvana where rows upon rows of glass cases showcase some truly inspired fudge creations.

912.638.0150 stsimonssweets.com


Jekyll Island

Tortuga Jacks

Grab a shady spot right under the tiki roof on the expansive patio and let the kids run around on the beach at this great family restaurant. The kids menu is fairly standard, but that just means you’ll have a great excuse to expand their horizons and try out some outstanding Mexican food.

And if it turns out they like their horizons right where they are, just send them back out to the beach and help yourself to seconds.

912.342.2600 tortugajacks.com



Early Bird Diner

For reasons that medical science may never understand, kids love breakfast for dinner. Maybe it’s the transcendence of societal norms regarding the proper time for carbohydrates vs. proteins, or maybe it’s the fact that pancakes are awesome no matter what time it is. No one’s sure.

But the point is, you can give the family that mysteriously exciting “breakfast for dinner” experience at Early Bird Diner, with its all-day breakfast menu, while you indulge in some of the South’s most celebrated comfort food.

843.277.2353 earlybirddiner.com     


Hilton Head

Charbar Co.

Apart from some great grub (and, coming soon, a huge bourbon bar), Charbar plays to its audience of family travelers with a complement of iPads on every table. Let the kids zone out with a little screen time (or take them on in head-to-head trivia challenges) then dig into some award-winning burgers. For you, there’s inspired local beers. For them, the namesake Charbar dessert. Come to think of it, that’s for you both. Order two.

843.785.2427 charbar.com


The Crazy Crab

Your kids are marvelous, enchanting little wonders who fill your life with light and happiness. But at some point in the vacation, you’re going to want them to go away for a little while. When that happens, you’ll be glad there are places like The Crazy Crab. Apart from the full, gated playground located just off the rear porch, there is also the massive tropical aquarium where you and the wee ones can take turn spotting Dory and all of her friends.

843.681.5021 thecrazycrab.com


A Lowcountry Backyard

Sometimes, the best part about being a parent is hanging out with other parents and letting the kids run around in the backyard. A Lowcountry Backyard is pretty much like that, only with better music and much better food. Let the kids make new friends and maybe challenge them to a few games after you dig into the island’s best shrimp and grits.

843.785.9273 hhbackyard.com

To read more about the greatest places to eat, stay, play and shop in the South, subscribe now or pick up the June/July issue of South magazine.